Colombo is suing Enrique concert over ‘unpaid taxes’


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The mayor of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo said Saturday he was suing a company that staged a controversial Enrique Iglesias concert to recover millions in unpaid entertainment taxes. Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil said he had been forced to take legal action to recover an estimated 30 million rupees (US$214,000) from Live Events, a company owned by former Sri Lankan cricket stars Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. Iglesias’s december 20 performance in the Sri Lankan capital drew widespread criticism including from President Maithripala Sirisena after reports local women shed their underwear and threw them at the singer. Both former cricketers have since apologized for the “negative experience” during the one-hour concert, which saw fans pay up to 50,000 rupees for tickets to the Colombo leg of Spanish star’s world tour, “Love and Sex.”

The Colombo Municipality said event organizers sold “invitations” to the event to avoid paying taxes and that more tickets had been sold than the number disclosed to the authorities.